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Why Recycling Waste Material Is Important for The Environment?

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We are facing a dire need to address threats to our environment. Pollution and environmental destruction is killing humans and the world we live in. Around 13% of all deaths in Europe are associated with pollution. This figure is likely to grow faster in the future.

We have to do more to protect the planet. One way that we must do this is by improving our recycling habits, wherever we may be. Whether we are in our homes or workplaces, we need to make sure that we are producing less waste and recycling most of the waste material.

If we don’t take any sort of action now on both an individual and community basis then we will all be in big trouble since climate change and global warming are becoming a huge issue worldwide. Let’s have a look at the benefits of recycling and why recycling waste materials is important for the environment:

Conservation Of Natural Resources

Our world’s natural resources are finite, and they will last only for a limited amount of time. After they are depleted, we won’t have any natural resources to work with. If we start recycling basic materials like paper or wood, then we are saving trees & forests that take years to grow. Of course, you can plant new trees, but they will take some time to grow, and they can’t replace ancient rainforests once they are cut down.

Similarly, recycling plastic means that less plastic is being made, which will have very beneficial effects for the planet. First that plastic takes ages to decompose and instead of throwing it away, you are making use out of it. You might think this is hyperbolic, but it isn’t. Most plastics take around 200 years to fully decompose. Secondly, plastics are made from fossil fuel and recycling them would conserve fossil fuels too. Metal and glass should also be recycled since these supplies are also limited and they will last for a handful amount only. 

There are a lot of ways to promote conservationism. You can start by donating to charities that help.

Protection Of Ecosystem and Wildlife.

When you start to recycle materials then it reduces the need to grow or extract raw materials from the Earth. Let’s take the examples of metals for a while. If you start to recycle metals then there would be no need for risky, expensive, and damaging mining and extraction of metals from the Earth’s crust. This would reduce the harmful disruption and damage being done to the earth.

Similarly, if you recycle wood and wood products like paper or cardboard then there would be less deforestation and wild animals won’t be harmed or displaced out of their natural habitat. 

Decrease In Demand for Raw Materials

Recycling means that you are reducing the demand for raw materials, as mentioned earlier. The world population is growing rapidly, and this has led to an increase in the number of raw materials required to make new homes or new materials. The global material footprint was 92 billion tons in 2017. This was over an 80% increase in less than two decades.

To make new furniture, every year thousands of trees are cut down and this has led to an increase in the demand for raw material i.e. wood. If people act carefully and start to recycle even the smallest of things, then it can make a huge difference. Plus, it is always cheaper to buy a recycled alternative than to buy a new one. 

Similarly, you can recycle even the little things like newspapers, phone books, notebooks, playing cards with which you can play games like Solitaire, Hearts, Crazy Eights, Spider Solitaire, etc. These little things can also make an impact if many people all over the world start to recycle them.

Saves Energy

When you are recycling materials then you are saving energy, which helps protect the planet. It is much more efficient to make products from recycled materials than it is to make them from raw materials and this difference in energy consumption can make a huge difference, especially on a national or global level.

Let’s take the example of aluminum products. If you recycle the aluminum cans, foils, and other materials then it is much more efficient to make aluminum from them than it is to make from scratch. Making aluminum from recycled products uses about 90-95% less energy than it takes when making it from raw materials.

Cheaper Than Waste Collection and Disposal

Recycling is considered to be cheaper than waste collection and disposal, which is always a good thing. Whenever you recycle, you put less in the bin and money is being saved on waste collection and disposal. Instead of throwing materials away, you should think about how you can make use of them and use them in an effective way. 

Reduces Carbon Emissions

Recycling also reduces carbon emissions which is beneficial to the environment. These carbon emissions are very harmful to the environment and are the major factor that is contributing to climate change globally. Recycling means that there is no need for the whole processing of new raw materials and instead, with only a little processing, the carbon emissions can be reduced which reduces COx, SOx, CFCs, and other greenhouse gases from being emitted into the environment.

Becca Stickler is a freelance writer with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly living.